Home Virginia Politics My Complaint to DPVA

My Complaint to DPVA


I filed a complaint with the DPVA today over the hot mess that was the 2012 convention and the “vote” for DNC members. It reads as follows:

To: The Democratic Party of Virginia

From: Gail Gordon Donegan

Re: Convention 2012 Complaint

I was a delegate from the 8th Congressional District to the DPVA State Convention on June 2. I observed numerous rule violations. I hereby challenge the legitimacy of the vote at the convention to elect Frank Leone and George Wallace to the DNC. The precise nature of the challenge and facts in support thereof are detailed in the body of this complaint.

According to the Democratic Party of Virginia Democratic Party Plan (“DPVA Plan”), the following regulations were violated:

1. Section 4.5 of the DPVA Plan states that “The State Convention held in the year of a presidential election shall elect the members of the Democratic National Committee allocated to Virginia, each member to serve a term of four (4) years.” There was no legitimate election for DNC members. George Burke, Chair of the 11th District, certified delegates from any district but first made those delegates swear to vote his “Unity Team” slate, which is a violation of Section 14.5 of the DPVA Plan. He would not certify anyone who would not swear to support the “Unity Team” slate. Burke improperly credentialed delegates to vote in the 3rd district over the objections of the 3rd district chair, Linda Brooks, with whom I have spoken and who confirms these facts. There were insufficient paper ballots for the 1st district delegates for the paper vote, which further strains the legitimacy of the vote. Brian Moran allowed a departure from the rules with a confusing voice and standing vote, after someone made a motion for division, which further confused the issue. People sitting near me were unable to hear above the shouting and were not even sure what they were voting on or what “division” meant. As I observed the count, a protester was escorted out of the room by an armed guard, thus intimidating those of us who might otherwise have protested as well. This was all allowed by Craig Fifer, the DPVA Vice Chair of Technology, who was acting as Parliamentarian. I am not aware of any authorization of that change in role for Mr. Fifer. It is not his official role within DPVA.

2. According to Section 4.10, “The Central Committee shall remove from office and membership any member …who shall be guilty of willful neglect of any duty imposed upon such member.” Chairman Brian Moran and Vice Chair for Technology Craig Fifer willfully neglected their individual duties to hold a proper vote, and George Burke, Chair of the 11th District, committed fraud and violated convention rules.

The specific relief I request with respect to this challenge is that both Frank Leone and George Wallace be disqualified from the DNC and a proper vote be held at a date(s) and place(s) to be determined by the DPVA in the form of a new caucus or convention. I also request the Brian Moran, George Burke and Craig Fifer be removed from their offices with the DPVA. I respectfully request that I receive from you a signed copy of this complaint with an acknowledgement of your receipt of same.


Gail Gordon Donegan

Delegate, 8th Congressional District

Received on behalf of DPVA by:

Name: ___________

Signature: __________

Date: _____________

I received an email from Fred Hudson a little while ago confirming receipt, but my complaint was not signed and returned to confirm receipt as I had requested. Note that several hours before I received the confirmation email from Fred Hudson, Craig Fifer posted on my Facebook page that he a copy of my signed complaint. He had it and posted to my Facebook page about it within an hour of my having sent it to DPVA, so we know they passed it around internally. A Dem down in the Hampton Roads area let me know they received it too, shortly after I filed it. I have to wonder who DPVA sent it to outside of DPVA, but they clearly did so there is no reason for me not to go public with it. I’d like to know who got it directly from DPVA. I have to wonder why it wasn’t kept among the email addressees until they at least addressed it with their attorney and confirmed receipt to me. It was sent to the following email addresses at 2:17 PM today:






cc: dncpress@gmail.com

I received Fred’s confirmation email at 6:28 PM.  

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  • satiricalalexandria

    I’ve never filed a complaint like this before. What is the resolution process? The DPVA rules say how to file a complaint, but nothing about what happens after you do. Has anyone else here ever filed a complaint with DPVA and if so, what happened? What do you think will happen with this one? I really have no idea how their internal processes work.  

  • satiricalalexandria

    I was only informed yesterday that Fifer was appointed on Friday night, but I don’t know the details. In addition, I’mn ot sure your assumption that there must be a vote by the Central Committee to remove any of these people is correct. It is my understanding, and I’ve been advised, that the Steering Committee has the power under the Party Plan to remove any, all, or none of them between meetings of the Central Committee if the Steering Committee follows the procedures spelled out in Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the Party Plan.

    That being said, I think they all should resign. Brian has not been an effective chair, Craig gave bad advice and the chaos is no excuse; that is precisely when we needed him to be at the top of his game. As for George…well…you know about that.  

  • satiricalalexandria

    I really wish I did not have to do this at all, and I wish I didn’t have to use other people’s name. My apologies for dragging Linda into it, but I have to testify to what I saw and heard. It’s my duty – and everyone else’s – to bear witness when something like this happens, and to step up and tell the truth. Anything else is a slap in the face of all that Democrats stand for. I hope other people file formal complaints detailing what they saw and heard and experienced. It’s the only way DPVA can get to the bottom of this. If enough people swear to tell the truth, then we can get this mess cleaned up. it’s not brave – it’s just right. If anyone else saw or heard anything different, then they too should file a written report to DPVA. If their facts contradict mine, then let them say so. The system depends on all of us stepping up.  

  • totallynext

    rule after the rules where adopted and communicated by the chair to the full body.

    A vote which contained both the slate and individuals who matched the slate – would be counted as a vote for the slate.

    i.e. – Check box Slate…Check box for individuals Leone/Wallace on the ballot.

    It was clearly presented to the full body that any vote which selected the slate in addition to individials – regardless of the individuals selected would be an overvote.

    So I think better yet – would get a clarification of the ruling regarding the “overvote” on the slate/individuals.

    I believe the rules address to the body and adopted that such ballots would be considered an overvote and not valid…. just saying